Walt Harris has been removed from his heavyweight fight with Josh Parisian at UFC On ESPN 49 on Saturday night after failing a pre-fight drug test.
The 40-year-old Harris had been looking to return to action after a two-year layoff, but in a statement issued on social media he has claimed that a supplement containing an unknown banned substance led to him being flagged by USADA.
“I wanted you to hear from me first that my fight has been cancelled due to an issue that just came up with my most recent USADA test,” Harris wrote. “I believe this came from a supplement that I’ve trusted my entire career, but at the end of the day it was never USADA approved. I’m a complete idiot for not checking prior, but I’m definitely not a cheater.
“I sincerely apologize to my opponent Josh Parisian,” Harris continued. “I was looking forward to doing battle with you in the Octagon. Once I get past this if you’re down I hope we can try again! I am going to face this head on while working with UFC and USADA and hope to have all of this sorted out in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience and support and I am looking forward to making this comeback very soon.”
This is not the first time Harris has failed a drug-test as he also tested positive for Ligandrol back in 2019 after a split-decision win over Andrei Arlovski. Harris successfully proved that the banned substance came from a new testosterone booster supplement that he’d started taking, which led to him receiving a reduced 4-month ban from USADA as well as his win being amended to a no-contest.
Harris had been heading into this weekend’s event looking to bounce back from three TKO losses in a row, a losing slump that had began not long after the devastating news in late 2019 that his step-daughter had been murdered.